By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2008-10-16 Print this article Print



According to the specifications listed on the HTC Web site (which also states that specifications could change without notice), the G1 features a relatively powerful processor for a smart phone-a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A ARM processor (with 256MB of ROM and 192MB of RAM). Taking advantage of this added horsepower, I found the G1 to be very snappy-quickly starting and switching between applications, with little noticeable lag or waiting during my brief time with the device.

The operating system is also multithreaded, so applications can run in the background, update themselves over the network frequently and, with the right permissions, keep the device from going to sleep. Like with Windows Mobile, exiting a program does not mean quitting said application. The OS instead manages the processes in the background, keeping frequently used applications open while retiring little used processes as resource constraints necessitate. However, unlike with Windows Mobile, I did not feel the OS growing sluggish as I opened and used more applications.

For a video of the G1 launch, click here. 

The G1's 1,150-mAh battery is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 130 hours of standby. In my tests, I found the G1 bettered those claims. With both the Wi-Fi radio and data synchronization services disabled, the device delivered 5 hours and 23 minutes of talk time. 

Because the G1 battery is on the smaller side when compared with Palm, Apple and Nokia phones eWEEK has recently tested, it seems the G1 and its Android operating system are highly efficient at controlling power consumption during a call. I found that the device quickly blanked the screen during calls but also woke quickly if I needed to use the screen at the same time. 


The highly customizable user interface consists of three side-by-side panels that users can flick between. The primary middle screen includes a large clock and links to the dialer, a couple of different contact applications, the Web browser and Google Maps, while the left panel includes a large search box from which the user can quickly conduct a Web search with full subject prediction. The user can add shortcuts to any installed applications on any of the panels, though I couldn't find a way to do the same with Web bookmarks.

In truth, I preferred to keep the desktop uncluttered and take advantage of the excellent program menu overlay. Visible as a tab at the bottom of the screen (when in portrait mode) or the left (when landscape), the tab expands with a flick to fill the entire screen with the full complement of installed applications.

Likewise, the user can access system notifications with a downward flick from the top of the screen. In this way, I could quickly see a roster of current events on the device to determine what calls or text messages I missed, what e-mails had come in recently, or what applications had successfully installed.

With a little digging, the G1 did an excellent job keeping me up-to-date with just about anything I might want to know about the device.  I could view detailed system information about the installed kernel, baseband or firmware revisions, specific details about the current signal strength (in dBm) or battery usage level (down to the percent), or the specific rights each installed application has on the device.

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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